Friday, December 28, 2007

Eric Mercury Lonely Girl

Eric Mercury Lonely Girl

Eric Mercury was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He was in the Pharaohs before forming his own group Eric Mercury and The Soul Searchers.

In 1968, he moved to Chicago and recorded Lonely Girl for the SAC label which was part of James Vanleer's Sedgrick/Cedric group This is a mind blowing 45 which powers along and is held in high regard by Northern Soul collectors. The version I have posted is off the International Recording Company acetate which belongs to a friend of mine. One of the fascinating aspects of Lonely Girl is that it is a Jobete song from the pens of Willie Stevenson and Joe Hunter.
There is a great thread on Soulful Detroit about how these Jobete songs were farmed out to artists when "discarded" by Motown. However, Motown did go as far as cutting at least one version by Brenda Holloway called "Lonely Boy" which is good but lacks the power and raw intensity of the SAC 45.In 1969, he went solo with an album for Avco Embassy called Electric Black Man which demonstrated the depth of his writing talents which manifested itself in the next few years with albums for Enterprise and Mercury.

He recorded 2 subtle and emotive albums for Enterprise. The first was Funky Sounds Nurtured In The Fertile Soil Of Memphis etc which saw him hooking up with Steve Cropper who produced the album at his TMI Studios in Memphis. Besides his own songs, Mercury used the talents of Mack Rice, Eddie Floyd, William Smith and Steve Cropper. He recorded a second album for Enterprise called Love Is Taking Over in Muscle Shoals which featured mainly songs written by Mack Rice and Bettye Crutcher. In 1975, he recorded an album for Mercury which consisted of 10 songs written by him and William Smith. The album was a complex one produced by Trevor Lawrence in LA using top session players and by then he had developed a very distinctive style of singing which made his voice instantly recognisable. In 1978, he released the Pam Sawyer and Leon Ware song Take Me Girl I'm Ready for Columbia but I prefer the other side Love Is On Our Side. A few years lapsed before he returned in 1980 to Mercury with his Gimme A Call Sometime album. Again, he wrote all the songs with William Smith and used a host of top session players.

In the '80s, he began working as a producer in both the USA and Canada.


  1. Anonymous6:46 PM

    What a voice...Fantastic singer.In my opinion,very underrated...

  2. Anonymous6:54 PM

    My favourite singers and players-Eric Mercury,Roosevelt Booba Barnes,Candi Staton,Andy Bey,early Tom Jones,Frankie Miller,Blind Willie Johnson,early Little Milton,Freddy King.